Release Date: March 19, 2019
Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.
One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And it’s up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .
In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: homoromantic
TROPES: enemies to lovers, slow burn romance, found family
TAGS: YA, romance, contemporary, ownvoices, black MCs, teenage parenting
WARNINGS: behavior bordering on bullying in school, death of family members, teenagers dealing with death and trauma as best as they can
I don’t even know what to say about this book. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I fell so deeply in love with it.
I know some people might get uncomfortable with how the book – and the romantic arc – start out in this one. And if I wasn’t witnessing things going exactly like this in my Youth Center every day I might have been too. But. Without spoilering too much of the book for anyone, what I took away from it all was this: When you have teenagers all thrown together in a school setting, teenagers who come with one massive backpack full of issues, trauma and loss? They will not bond the way you might have bonded in high school. They will not trust the way you trust. And they will not open up to each other the way you thought they should or would.
Is all of it healthy or good or unproblematic? No. It really isn’t. But it is real. And when you address it and these kids get a chance to learn and trust and be open? They might just surprise you with the depth of their love and loyalty and sense of what is right and wrong.
All of this to say that I was blown away by how real and raw the beginning of this story felt. The intensity never wavered throughout the book, the emotions always running high and hitting me where it hurts the most. I adored every single character in this book. The way they cared for each other, protected each other, helped each other heal and grow and find a piece of happiness for themselves. It was beautiful and heart-wrenching and it made me feel so much hope and adoration and happiness. It reminded me that it was okay to make mistakes. That it is okay to forgive and be forgiven. That it is okay to stumble when you reach for the stars, or that you stumble and fall when you can’t even remember what your stars look like. It’s okay to figure things out. To always be figuring things out. It’s okay to learn and grow and change and find everything you were hoping for and everything you didn’t know you needed and wanted in the process.
My heart ached in the best possible way after I finished reading this book, absorbed in the beauty of the prose, the love of space written into every single line, the important thoughts about family, friendship, love, trust and heartache still tumbling around in my head and heart weeks after finishing it. I loved it. I couldn’t put it down and I keep coming back to a thought I had after finishing.
This book is like a small purple flower, springing eternally from a crack in dirty concrete.
K. Ancrum grew up in Chicago Illinois. She attended Dominican University to study Fashion Merchandising, but was lured into getting an English degree after spending too many nights experimenting with hard literary criticism and hanging out with unsavory types, like poetry students. Currently, she moonlights as a legal assistant and goblin who skulks about writing in the corner of Starbucks.”